Not everyone who has walked through the beautiful pueblos of Spain knows that the country is named after rabbits. Likewise, you may have revelled in the sun-kissed beaches of Maldives, not knowing that the natives called their place a garland of islands. A beautiful name for a beautiful place, really. In an awesomely nerdy project that indulges our interest in travel, the Australian company Credit Card Compare created a map with the literal meaning of all the country names in the world.
“Learning the etymology – the origin of words – of countries around the world offers us fascinating insight into the origins of some of our favourite travel destinations and the people who first lived there,” the company says. Zooming in on continents and regions, from Europe to South America and Africa, the map offers a different perspective.
Varied reactions sprung up online, ranging from pure fascination to a personal need to verify the facts and study further, but one thing is for sure: the company’s research provides us with valuable insight to see the places we have been and the places we have yet to be in a new light.
“The interest has been enormous far beyond Australia because of some of the unexpected names. People are contacting us with their positive feedback and reasons for some corrections to one or two names. We plan to release even high-def downloads suitable for big poster-sized prints.”
A while ago, I wrote about the many different ways you can maximize your weekend. It could be difficult—though definitely not impossible!—to cram an exhilarating getaway in that two-day window. But sometimes, when you cannot go out there yet and travel, relaxing at home and making discoveries about the places you dream to explore could suffice. Make yourself a hot chocolate or a mojito, cozy up, and start with this map.
Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine may be a leap towards a cure, but the wait is long from over. Until then, a select few have been making life more comfortable for cancer sufferers. Zach Bolster, a former hedge fund vice president, is the founder of ChemoCars — a ride service for chemo patients.
“My family was shocked by how many cancer patients had difficulty getting to their chemotherapy treatments. We soon realized what a huge financial and family burden transportation during cancer treatments can be. Some patients resorted to riding the bus, others, unfortunately, missed their treatment altogether.”
Inspired by his late mother, a victim of pancreatic cancer, Bolster and his wife Patricia have offered over 2,000 free rides. Many users have become regulars, avoiding the hassle of buses and transportation expenses.
“ChemoCars gives patients a chance to do something for themselves. They rely so much on family that this means they can use family or friends for other things and – not for the daily chore of getting treatment,” [nurse Pam Gwaltney says.]
Though business-minded, Bolster doesn’t see dollar signs on the horizon. ChemoCars has become a tribute to his mother and a symbol of hope for many.
China may hold the record for housing the world’s fastest high-speed railway, but Florida is making headlines for launching its first. The private rail service will run from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s the first time that it’s happening, being built by a private company,” [says John Renne of the Urban Solutions committee). “And that’s kind of a game changer for this type of model.”
Along with carbon emissions, the $3 million train project will cut 3 million cars from traffic-laden roads. All Abroad Florida hopes to target the state’s densest area of nearly 6 million people.
“The federal highway system expanded … and everyone got off trains and into cars,” [says] John Guitar of All Aboard Florida… “And we’ve done a full circle now that the traffic and congestion and gas prices are so bad, people are looking for alternatives to get out of their cars and find other ways to get around the state.”
For what’ll likely be just $16, passengers can zip from West Palm to Miami in merely an hour. Road trips may be fun, but if I can shave 4 hours off a drive, why not?
As a solar-powered train, it may not be the first, but Byron Bay’s eco-railway is completely emissions-free. Carrying up to 100 passengers, the refurbished antique-on-wheels is a breakthrough in clean commuting.
“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself. For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in.” [says mastermind and businessman Brian Flannery.]
The resort-owner-slash-techie hopes the train will also draw in tourists. Still, the project itself is a giant leap towards greener transport systems. The “red rattler” is also bringing disused tracks back into business, drawing old and new together.
“I think everyone knows that Byron’s very conscious about anything to do with the environment,” [Byron Bay Railroad Company’s Jeremy Holmes] said. It’s really nice to be able to run a train that’s zero emissions and powered by the sun.”
Running on a three-kilometer track, the solar train has (literally) a long way to go. But I can’t say I’m not impressed with where it stands.
Looks like the sleeping pods in sci-fi blockbuster “Passengers” are closer to becoming a reality. If we can figure out out how to grow replacement organs, why not take a crack at immortality? While it isn’t totally possible (yet), cryogenic freezing has brought us a step closer to living forever.
Experts in the US have shown that they can preserve brains and bodies in a state of suspended animation where they freeze an individual to sub-zero temperatures and revive them at a time of choosing in the future.
Initial experiments with fish embryos used anti-freeze as a type of sealant, but wasn’t enough for full preservation. Gold nano-rods, on the other hand, saw success.
When the minuscule rods are added to the anti-freeze, lasers are shot at the frozen embryos which were frozen to -196C.
The nano-rods conduct the laser’s heat, allowing the embryos to be warmed up much quicker.
Some 10 per cent of the embryos survived and then continued to grow as normal.
Not only does the process bring us closer to, in theory, “immortality”, it will allow for long-period traveling. Paying a visit to Mars, for example, takes 6 months, while getting to Pluto takes nearly 10 years. But if space isn’t your thing, maybe you’d prefer to meet your great-great grand children.
Dogs make great athletic companions — they can hunt, run, swim, and jump hurdles. But adventure comes with a risk and sometimes the consequences are dire. Rescuing doesn’t always come on time and, in some instances, has taken up to three years. For this lucky Labrador stranded in the Chilliwack mountains for four days, casual hikers took no time to save him.
Amanda McGregor’s chocolate lab Louie is now recovering from a mountain adventure that brought together dozens of people in the local hiking community.
It began when McGregor’s stepdaughter Janessa picked Louie up at 6 a.m… for an overnight trek to Radium Lake.
But when 2 p.m. came on Sunday and Janessa and Louie weren’t back, Amanda started to worry.
Because Janessa was not directly in danger’s way, the police could not respond. McGregor then did what anyone in this day and age would’ve done — she turned to social media.
There was almost too much of a response with dozens of commenters making suggestions, offering equipment and to come out and help.
When the rescuers got to Louie… the dog wasn’t moving much and wouldn’t walk at all.
Within a few hours, Louie was whisked away to an animal hospital. Within a day, FaceBook users raised over $500 for the pup’s recovery.
“In this day and age, to know that humans are out there that do this. This is such a positive story about people.”
Trust me, we agree.
There is no denying that people are capable of achieving the impossible. This Hawaiian deep-sea canoe brigade is no exception, having circumnavigated the globe in just 3 years. What makes the feat even more impressive is that the Hōkūle’a did so using only Polynesian navigational methods.
“Hokule’a’s crew would forgo up-to-date technology, using celestial navigation to prove that ancient Polynesians used only the stars, sun, moon, wind, and waves to travel to the islands in the Pacific. It would prove that the crew’s ancestors were not simply blown off course to Hawaii — that they were expert voyagers, who sailed with a purpose.”
The voyage, first envisioned in the 1970s, took years to plan. The style of canoe that navigators intended to build had not been accomplished for nearly 600 years. This made it difficult to construct — something I can relate to, as I sometimes have trouble pitching simple tents. When it was finally time to sail, Hōkūle’a embarked on “Mālama Honua” or “Care For The Earth.”
Its goal was to reach environmentalists, scientists, concerned citizens, and children around the world, finding common ground in their desire to protect the planet. Hōkūle’a would “connect with communities who care for the health of the oceans and our shared island, Earth.”
Hōkūle’a traveled to 150 different ports in 23 countries and is now embarking on a Hawaiian tour. That’s what I call perseverance!
Rush hour is not anyone’s favorite time of the day, but from time to time, we inevitably find ourselves in the middle of it. However, 15-minute-turned-2-hour drives don’t always leave us prepared for hunger pangs and total boredom. Cargo, a startup that allows Uber drivers to sell a quirky mix of items mid-ride, is not only helping them make an extra buck, but also alleviates our traffic-induced hiccups.
Cargo partners with brands to put candy, protein bars, tampons, and condoms in a case that sits within reach of passengers. The case comes with a code unique to each driver, which passengers use to record what they took during the ride.
Drivers get a bit of extra money from Cargo for the things their passengers take, regardless of whether the riders made a purchase or just took something for free. Passengers can even tip their drivers through Cargo, too.
While the extra income earned from Cargo is nothing hair-raising, drivers are not charged for having a case of goodies in their car.
“Our mission is to help drivers earn more by providing the best ride experience possible,”
“For passengers, you never have to worry about your phone dying, riding hungover, or suffering through that snack-less midnight ride from the airport,”
Cargo is clearly going above and beyond simple customer care, and we couldn’t be more grateful!
The hassle of communicating in foreign countries has been a common struggle for many tourists. Ever tried to order a burger and ended up with dessert instead? You wouldn’t be the first one–but Lingmo International’s translation earpiece hopes you are the last.
The Translate One2One uses IBM Watson’s natural language understanding technology to understand both the words and context being spoken, before purportedly delivering a near-instant translation.
Translate One2One is incredibly multi-lingual.
The device can translate conversations across English, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German and Chinese.
Past translation devices have not always demonstrated accuracy, making conversation more difficult.
“Anyone who’s traveled will have found themselves in a similar scenario of incorrect translation, while realizing the social benefit of being able to converse across cultures,”
The device’s technology can even recognize dialects and slang phrases. Take that Google Translate!
The earpiece is now available for $179. Customers can also download an app version of Translate One2One.